‘Multiculturalism to integrate these immigrants and foreigners have shaped

 ‘Multiculturalism
has failed’. ‘Assimilation’s failure, terrorism’s rise’.
Headlines in The Netherlands and France, but also in other countries
have been clear: the integration models of assimilation (France) and
multiculturalism (The Netherlands) exhibit flaws. The presence of
immigrants and foreigners in both France and The Netherlands and the
models used to integrate these immigrants and foreigners have shaped
the national identities of both countries. For decades The
Netherlands was praised for the concept of unity in diversity, while
France was praised for her ability to preserve the national identity
while handling large numbers of immigrants and foreigners. But the
two opposite models of integration have received more and more
criticism.
Some
scholars link the recent terrorist attacks in France with a possible
failure of the French assimilation model of integration. According to
journalist Justin Gest, France demands a degree of assimilation from
its immigrants and foreigners that expressly seeks to homogenize them
into
a shared mold of ‘Frenchness’ (Gest,
2015).
Has France been too fanatic to integrate immigrants, holding
unrealistic expectations when it comes to the integration of
immigrants?? And does France in fact offer equal opportunities for
immigrants? In The Netherlands the criticism mainly derives
from nationals and national press. Criticism on the Dutch
multicultural model of integration started in the 1990s and gained
momentum in 2004 when film director and Islam critic Theo van Gogh
was assassinated by Muslim extremist Mohammed Bouyeri and the
subsequent death threats addressed to politicians and Islam critic
Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The tensions in Dutch society between different
groups and the fast-rising support for the extreme-right anti-Islam
politician Geert Wilders strengthened the notion that
multiculturalism might
not have yielded
the desired result. This essay is divided in three parts and a
conclusion. The first two parts will give a definition of
assimilation and multiculturalism, the history of both models of
integration, the migration of both France and The Netherlands will be
presented in numbers, the colonial and immigration history of both
countries will be explained and the main criticism on both models
will be elaborated.
The
third part will give an ethical and personal revue of the two models
and answer
the following research question: By
comparing the assimilation model of integration by France with the
multicultural model of integration by The Netherlands, which model of
integration can be considered as the most ethical? Lastly,
a conclusion will be drawn.